Is Street Food Safer Than Restaurant Food?

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Chowhounds, take heart. A survey of food trucks in major cities finds that getting your lunch on wheels is as safe -- or safer -- than stepping into a sit-down restaurant.

The Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm, examined the safety violations of food trucks and carts in seven cities. The firm says it reviewed more than 260,000 food-safety inspection reports in Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Seattle and Washington. The result? The trucks had the same or fewer violations.

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"The notion that street food is unsafe is a myth," the report argues. "The recipe for clean and safe food trucks is simple -- inspections."

As Vox reported, each employee working in food trucks in New York City are required to get a health department license. In a stationary restaurant, the health department requires just one employee per shift to have a license.

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The report argues that zealous regulations of where the food trucks can operate won't made food service safer. But more inspections appear to have the intended effect.

Photo: Thinkstock

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